Thursday, March 17, 2022

Historical Romance Bracket Challenge

A fun fact about me: I love bracket tournaments. It could be about book characters, movies, or my favorite type of pasta, just let me sort things! So in the spirit of March Madness (and a little spite), I present the Historical Romance Bracket Challenge! "Why spite?" you may ask. Well, today Barnes & Noble released a romance bracket and it included basically no historical romances, which I and others decided we couldn't let stand. With a few hours of work, I whipped up a bracket layout and chose 64 historical romances that will go head-to-head for the championship. A YA bracket is also in the works, and will go up soon.

A note about the books included. I set some ground rules for myself going in. Each author only gets one book, and it must have been published in the last ten years. I aimed to include a diverse selection, but in terms of publication (indie vs traditional) and representation (authors and on the page). To be totally transparent, there was definitely some bias in the selection process. For some authors, I chose my favorite book by them to be the one competing. For others, I chose which of their recent books had the highest rating on Goodreads. I tried to avoid anything that I knew had problematic content (no romance hero Nazis here) but there is always a chance that I missed something. If a book comes to my attention that goes against the values of this blog, and is confirmed as such, the book competing against it will automatically advance in that round.

Additionally, there were a few authors that I just couldn't decide on a book for! For these six authors, there will be a play-in round featuring the two books I was torn on. This will start tonight (March 17th) once this post is live. These authors are: Eva Leigh, Joanna Shupe, Cat Sebastian, Olivia Waite, Lisa Kleypas, and Tessa Dare.

You may be wondering how the bracket is organized. After weighing some options, I decided to put the competition up to a randomizer. No individual books were put against each other by my will. There are two versions of the bracket. One is broken down into four sections to aid in visibility. These sections are: Enemies to Lovers Alley, Only One Bed Lane, Marriage of Convenience Avenue, and Aristocrat in Disguise Road. The sections aren't actually sorted by the tropes mentioned, they're just fun names to set them apart. The second version of the bracket puts all the sections together and includes the championship round. It is harder to read but you can get an overall picture of where things are. Plus, it should be downloadable so you can zoom in as you want.

If you decide to download the bracket and fill in your picks, please share and tag me on social media! I'm @Tween2TeenBooks on Twitter, where I am most active.

Now, what you've all been waiting for, the bracket! After you've taken a look, scroll down to see the upcoming schedule. All voting will happen on Twitter and each poll will run for 24 hours. The time listed next to the groups below will be the start time, all of it in eastern time.

Enemies to Lovers Alley
Only One Bed Lane
Marriage of Convenience Avenue
Aristocrat in Disguise Road
Full Bracket

Play-In Round (March 17th, 8pm)

Round of Sixty-Four (March 18th - 25th)
Group 1 - The Prince by Katharine Ashe vs Her Wicked Marquess by Stacy Reid (March 18th, 8pm)
Group 2 - Claiming the Highlander's Heart by Lily Maxton vs Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath (March 19th, 8pm)
Group 3 - My Darling, My Disaster by Amalie Howard and Angie Morgan vs After Dark With the Duke by Julie Anne Long (March 20th, 8pm)
Group 4 - How to Train Your Earl by Amelia Grey vs The Scandal of It All by Sophie Jordan (March 21st, 8pm)
Group 5 - What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie vs The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham (March 22nd, 8pm)
Group 6 - To Resist a Scandalous Rogue by Liana De la Rosa vs Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen (March 23rd, 8pm)
Group 7 - West End Earl by Bethany Bennett vs The Sinful Scot by Maddison Michaels (March 24th, 8pm)
Group 8 - Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean vs Blame It On the Duke by Lenora Bell (March 25th, 8pm)
Group 9 - The Duke Who Loved Me by Jane Ashford vs Eva Leigh book (TBA) (March 18th, 8pm)
Group 10 - An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole vs Girls Before Earls by Anna Bennett (March 19th, 8pm)
Group 11 - A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins vs Her Night With the Duke by Diana Quincy (March 20th, 8pm)
Group 12 - A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor vs Joanna Shupe book (TBA) (March 21st, 8pm)
Group 13 - Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase vs The Rebel and the Rake by Emily Sullivan (March 22nd, 8pm)
Group 14 - The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell vs Cat Sebastian book (TBA) (March 23rd, 8pm)
Group 15 - Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins vs Dare to Be a Duchess by Sapna Bhog (March 24th, 8pm)
Group 16 - Betting on a Duke's Heart by Royaline Sing vs The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley (March 25th, 8pm)
Group 17 - Highland Sword by May McGoldrick vs Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall (March 18th, 8pm)
Group 18 - The Earl and the Reluctant Lady by Robyn DeHart vs Governess Gone Rogue by Laure Lee Gukrke (March 19th, 8pm)
Group 19 - Duke Gone Rogue by Christy Carlyle vs Olivia Waite book (TBA) (March 20th, 8pm)
Group 20 - About a Rogue by Caroline Linden vs This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman (March 21st, 8pm)
Group 21 - As Rich as a Rogue by Jade Lee vs Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman (March 22nd, 8pm)
Group 22 - One Night with an Earl by Tina Gabrielle vs Some Like It Scandalous by Maya Rodale (March 23rd, 8pm)
Group 23 - Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt vs The Wrong Marquess by Vivienne Lorret (March 24th, 8pm)
Group 24 - Lisa Kleypas book (TBA) vs An Extraordinary Lord by Anna Harrington (March 25th, 8pm)
Group 25 - The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan vs The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne (March 18th, 8pm)
Group 26 - The Infamous Duchess by Sophie Barnes vs A Good Duke Is Hard to Find by Christina Britton (March 19th, 8pm)
Group 27 - Third Son's a Charm by Shana Galen vs The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior by Megan Frampton (March 20th, 8pm)
Group 28 - My One and Only Duke by Grace Burrowes vs Wilde Child by Eloisa James (March 21st, 8pm)
Group 29 - Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon vs When a Duke Loves a Governess by Olivia Drake (March 22nd, 8pm)
Group 30 - The Bluestocking by Christi Caldwell vs A Taste of Honey by Rose Lerner (March 23rd, 8pm)
Group 31 - The Butterfly Bride by Vanessa Riley vs Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch (March 24th, 8pm)
Group 32 - The Highlander Who Protected Me by Vanessa Kelly vs Tessa Dare book (TBA) (March 25th, 8pm)

Round of Thirty-Two (March 27th - 30th)
Group 1 - TBA (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 2 - TBA (March 28th, 8pm)
Group 3 - TBA (March 29th, 8pm)
Group 4 - TBA (March 30th, 8pm)
Group 5 - TBA (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 6 - TBA (March 28th, 8pm)
Group 7 - TBA (March 29th, 8pm)
Group 8 - TBA (March 30th, 8pm)
Group 9 - TBA (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 10 - TBA (March 28th, 8pm)
Group 11 - TBA (March 29th, 8pm)
Group 12 - TBA (March 30th, 8pm)
Group 13 - TBA (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 14 - TBA (March 28th, 8pm)
Group 15 - TBA (March 29th, 8pm)
Group 16 - TBA (March 30th, 8pm)

Sweet Sixteen
Group 1 - TBA (April 1st, 8pm)
Group 2 - TBA (April 1st, 8pm)
Group 3 - TBA (April 2nd, 8pm)
Group 4 - TBA (April 2nd, 8pm)
Group 5 - TBA (April 1st, 8pm)
Group 6 - TBA (April 1st, 8pm)
Group 7 - TBA (April 2nd, 8pm)
Group 8 - TBA (April 2nd, 8pm)

Elite Eight
Group 1 - TBA (April 4th, 8pm)
Group 2 - TBA (April 5th, 8pm)
Group 3 - TBA (April 4th, 8pm)
Group 4 - TBA (April 5th, 8pm)

Final Four
Group 1 - TBA (April 7th, 8pm)
Group 2 - TBA (April 7th, 8pm)

TBA (April 8th, 8pm)

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